Submission Type

Innovation Highlight



Introduction: There is limited evidence for large scale interventions to address childhood obesity. Let’s Go! is a Maine-based obesity prevention program that deploys a consistent message across multiple community settings to encourage children and families to make healthy choices. This report describes implementation of Let's Go! in primary care offices.

Methods: Consideration for physician champion recruitment included previous involvement with Let’s Go! and ensuring statewide geographic coverage. Champions received standardized training and became local leaders in obesity prevention and treatment. 13 champions engaged 99 practices at baseline; 71 practices were engaged all 4 years (2012-2015). Data were analyzed on 46 of 71 practices that completed surveys all 4 years, representing 226 clinicians.

Results: Increases were observed in achievement of 3 basic criteria from 39% in 2012 to 87% in 2015 (p < .001). Criteria include displaying program posters, documenting BMI, and discussing healthy behaviors at well-child visits.

Discussion: The Let’s Go! strategy of engaging and supporting primary care practices resulted in widespread, standardized adoption of recommendations to prevent and treat childhood obesity.

Conclusion: Physician champions have been effective in advancing childhood obesity interventions in Maine. This model could be applied to other public health problems wherever broad-based action is necessary.

Keywords: children, obesity, prevention, primary care, physician



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